Planning and Economic Development FAQs

How can I find out what Zoning District my house and/or business is in?
  • You can find out through the Town’s GIS Property viewer, here                                                 
  • At the top left corner click on “Layers” and then check the “Zoning Map” box to review what district you are residing in.
What can I do on my Property?
  • The best place to start to understand what is allowed in your zoning district, would be to look through Table I (pg. 27) and Table II (pg. 68) of the Zoning Bylaw. The zoning bylaw can be found on the Planning Department website: Here
How can I find out what the building setbacks are in my zoning district?
  • All required setbacks can be found in Table II of the Zoning Bylaw (pg. 68)
Residential Zoning Districts Front Yard Setback Side Yard Setback Rear Yard Setback
Rural A 50' 30' 50'
Rural B 50' 30' 50'
Residence A 30' 20' 40'
Residence B-1 30' 10' 40'
Residence B-2 30' 10' 40'
Where do I get a copy of my Certified Plot Plan?
  • If previous work has been done on your home, the Building Department may have one on file or you may need to call a Land Surveyor to obtain a new one.
Is my lot buildable?
  • An owner/developer could build in accordance with the allowed uses and in conformance with dimensional requirements of the Zoning District. In the Zoning Bylaw, please see Table I (pg. 27) for the Use Schedule and Table II (pg. 68) for the Dimensional Requirements.  
  • The Planning Department recommends contacting a land surveyor or an engineer to determine if a lot's dimensions and frontage meet the Town's Zoning Bylaw requirements. A land use attorney may also be employed to conduct research into a lot's history etc.
How can I subdivide my land?
  • In order to subdivide a lot you would need to submit what is called an Approval Not Required plan ("ANR" plan). You can find the procedure for submittal on page 6 of the Rules and Regulations Please note, an approved ANR plan does not guarantee that a lot is buildable. 
  • The application is found here
  • ANR vs. Definitive Subdivision: A subdivision is a division of land into two or more lots and usually involves the creation of a new road. An ANR (“approval not required”) is the division of land into lots with frontage on existing roads, whether public or private, or simply reconfiguring lot lines.
  • It is recommended to residents, who are looking to subdivide their property, to speak with a land surveyor or a civil engineer about whether or not two buildable lots can be created from their existing lot based on zoning requirements of their district.
How do I open a Business in Shrewsbury?
  • We are excited to hear that you wish to start a business in Shrewsbury! 
  • Feel free to contact the Planning and Economic Development Department to discuss your business idea and business location.
  • The Town Clerk has a resource for DBA Certificates. Please consult with the Clerk’s Office webpage here
  • If the business is an at-home business, business owners are required to sign an acknowledgement located on the back side of the business certificate application certifying that their business complies with zoning ordinances. If you have questions regarding zoning, please call the Building Department at 508-841-8512 
  • For more information on additional licensing for your business, please call the Planning Department at 508-841-8512 or email and
How can I find out what Signs I can have on my property?
  • The requirements for individual signs and aggregate signage square footage on a lot are governed by Section VII.E of the Zoning Bylaw (pg. 86) and are dependent upon which zoning district a use is located. The Zoning Bylaw can be found here: 
  • Signs in the Town Center District are governed by Section VII-U.5.l 
  • Sign permits fall under building permits and can be applied for online from the Building Department (Scroll down to 2.4 Sign Permits): Here